ABC, CBS Ignore TikTok Admitting They’re Controlled By the Chinese Gov

News & Politics

During their Wednesday newscast, ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS Mornings boasted that TikTok was talking the American government to court because the company refused to comply with American law. The networks boosted TikTok’s claims in their legal filing that the law violated the First Amendment and their suggestion that members of Congress were hypocrites for having TikTok accounts, but what they failed to disclose to their audiences was the fact that those same filings proved that the Chinese Communist Party controlled TikTok.

In their filing, TikTok admits: “Third, the Chinese government has made clear that it would not permit a divestment of the recommendation engine that is a key to the success of TikTok in the United States … By doing so, the Chinese government clearly signaled that it would assert its export control powers with respect to any attempt to sever TikTok’s operations from ByteDance, and that any severance would leave TikTok without access to the recommendation engine that has created a unique style and community that cannot be replicated on any other platform today.”

ABC senior congressional correspondent Rachel Scott trumpeted that “TikTok is taking on the federal government, setting up a showdown in court over free speech and national security.” Ignoring the fact the filing admitted they were taking orders from the Chinese government, Scott framed their lawsuit as an act of brave defiance. “TikTok’s parent company is making it clear they cannot and will not be selling the platform,” she proclaimed.

Scott concluded her report by touting: “The bottom line, TikTok will remain available in the United States as this plays out in the courts.”

Over on CBS, correspondent Scott MacFarlane parroted TikTok’s talking points that “it’s being asked to do the impossible — to be divested or sold to an approved buyer by their China-based owner ByteDance within months or face a ban in the United States.”

“They say that’s a violation of the First Amendment and that they’re being singled out because of their ties to China,” he added.

While ignoring the part of TikTok’s filing that admitted that they were controlled by the Chinese Government, MacFarlane quoted another:

In their new legal petition, they say, “There’s no question the act will force a shutdown of TikTok by January 19th, 2025, silencing the 170 million Americans who use the platform to communicate in ways that cannot be replicated elsewhere.”

“The company denies those allegations and has asked a court to delay or stop enactment of this law. And they note in their legal petition many of the members of Congress who passed the law, Natalie, have and use TikTok accounts themselves,” he chided.

Meanwhile, on NBC’s Today, correspondent Savannah Sellers quoted the damaging part of the filing but failed to connect the dots:

TikTok and ByteDance arguing the law’s requirement to divest “disregarded less extreme alternatives” and “is simply not possible: not commercially, not technologically, not legally.” Going on to say: “The Chinese government has made it clear it would not permit a divestment…” Lawyers also arguing that TikTok is protected under the First Amendment’s guarantee freedom of expression.

The networks still refused to mention that TikTok users had threatened to kill a U.S. Senator and commit suicide after TikTok directed their users to contact their congressional representatives.

The transcripts are below. Click “expand” to read:

ABC’s Good Morning America
May 8, 2024
7:13:43 a.m. Eastern

ROBIN ROBERTS: Now to TikTok suing the federal government over the law that would force its Chinese owners to sell the video-sharing app. Our senior congressional correspondent Rachel Scott has the latest. Good morning to you, Rachel.

RACHEL SCOTT: Hey, Robing. Good morning to you. TikTok is taking on the federal government, setting up a showdown in court over free speech and national security. It has been two weeks since the President signed that bipartisan bill into law that forces TikTok’s Chinese parent company to either sell the app or face a total ban in the United States. Well, this morning, TikTok’s parent company is making it clear they cannot and will not be selling the platform.

So, on one end of this, you have a bipartisan group of lawmakers, even the President, they are arguing that TikTok poses a national security risk and that by using the platform the Chinese government could have access to your data, including your browsing history, even your location. TikTok denies those allegations.

They say it would take years for them to find a new set of engineers to figure out how to program the platform and that it would force a shutdown of the app here in the United States by January of next year. They also argue a ban infringes on the rights of 170 million Americans who use the platform here in the United States.

In this lawsuit, TikTok also points out that the Biden campaign continues to use the platform even after the President signed that bill into law. They insist that completely undermines their argument that it poses a risk to Americans’ safety.

The bottom line, TikTok will remain available in the United States as this plays out in the courts. Michael.

MICHAEL STRAHAN: All right, Rachel. Thank you very much for that.

CBS Mornings
May 8, 2024
7:24:21 a.m. Eastern

NATALIE MORALES: TikTok is going to court to try to stop a new law that could lead to a nationwide ban on the social media giant. It says the law demanding that it sever ties with its China-based parent company would stifle free speech. However, supporters of the measure say it is essential for national security. Scott Macfarlane is on Capitol Hill. Scott, good morning.

SCOTT MACFARLANE: Natalie, good morning. TikTok says it’s being asked to do the impossible — to be divested or sold to an approved buyer by their China-based owner ByteDance within months or face a ban in the United States. They say that’s a violation of the First Amendment and that they’re being singled out because of their ties to China.

In their new legal petition, they say, “There’s no question the act will force a shutdown of TikTok by January 19th, 2025, silencing the 170 million Americans who use the platform to communicate in ways that cannot be replicated elsewhere.”

Congress overwhelmingly and swiftly passed this law arguing TikTok’s ties to China are a national security concerned and risk the private data of its users. One House committee chair says TikTok is like a spy balloon in your phone. The company denies those allegations and has asked a court to delay or stop enactment of this law. And they note in their legal petition many of the members of Congress who passed the law, Natalie, have and use TikTok accounts themselves.

MORALES: So interesting. All right, Scott. We’ll be following this one.

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